It's been four months since the phone call. Four months today from the terrible news that altered our lives. Grief is still very present. I wrote this a couple of weeks ago after attending a funeral. I share it today in hopes that it helps all of us who are still wrestling with grief. May the God of compassion and comfort continue to meet us in this journey.
“Then Sings My Soul.”
The familiar words were on the screen. But my soul was not singing. I couldn’t open my mouth. Tears were dripping down my face.
I had just looked into the eyes of three beautiful sisters. All very different, but each pair of eyes filled with pain.
How could my soul sing when surrounded by such grief?
Three young adults whose Dad was taken suddenly from them. It felt so unfair.
The familiar grief in my throat was back again, making it hard to breathe, making it hard to swallow.
It was in my heart, like rocks filling it up, making it so heavy the weight was pulling me down, pulling my shoulders in, making me stoop over, aging me years in just hours since I heard the news of their father’s passing.
It was less than four months since I sat at my son’s funeral one day and my nephew’s the next. The loss of both young men sudden and tragic, forever impacting all of us who loved them.
Last night, I sat in the church as people sang of God’s faithfulness, and I didn’t even want to talk to God, much less sing to Him.
Thoughts battered my mind.
Why? Why? Why?
This is too hard.
I hate this.
This sorrow is too heavy.
I hate that these young ladies are now entering this journey of exhausting grief.
A family we had known for twenty years totally altered. Three lovely young ladies whose lives would never be the same.
My tears wouldn’t stop.
Growing up as children, we always thought it was great fun when we were asked to quote a verse to respond with the shortest verse in the Bible—"Jesus wept”. But, today those words aren’t just a pair of words to bring a chuckle.
They are two words describing a weeping Savior.
The weeping Son of God, who grieved alongside his friends Mary and Martha. He cried with the sisters in their pain, even though He knew resurrection was around the corner.
He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He lived on this earth and felt our pain. He understood our fragile hearts.
His Word is full of others who wept.
Job’s agonizing lament. David crying out to God, wondering why he has been abandoned. Hannah, appearing drunk in her anguish and grief.
In the book of Romans, we are encouraged to weep with those who weep. In Ecclesiastes, we are told that there is a season for weeping; a season for grief.
Our Creator does not ask us to ignore our pain. He knows there are seasons when we weep. He is the God of all comfort who ministers to our aching hearts in our times of suffering.
He doesn’t ask us to pretend that our hearts aren’t breaking. Instead, He lets us know that He is close to the brokenhearted.
He doesn’t ask us to stuff down our anguish, instead he reminds us that “blessed our those who mourn.”
At the funeral last night, the daughters had made a beautiful slideshow of their beloved Papa. The background song began with the words, “you unravel me with a melody, you surround me with a song.”
Even though I am not able to sing today while I once again sit in this place of loss and grief, I know God’s song of deliverance is being sung over us.
I know it will eventually unravel every tight place in my heart and there will come a time where I can sing again. I know that my soul will be able to sing because His faithfulness is great. I know He is a God of redemption and restoration. I know that into the darkness He always brings a ray of light.
So, I remind myself of these truths.
I remind myself that this beloved father loved Jesus with his whole heart and he is more alive right now than ever before. He is singing of the faithfulness of His God while surrounded by the glory of His presence. He is in a place where the eternal season is one of joy and gladness and wholeness and worship and beauty.
But, I am not there. Not yet. His daughters are not, either. We are still here, a place with seasons of pain.
Of sudden tragedies.
Of anguish and grief.
A place of tears.
And in this season, we have a God who sees and knows and understands and comforts. A God who is close to the broken hearted.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
May this season of grief be a time for all of us in which we also see the comfort of a God who loves. May we be reminded that it is into this dark place here on earth that He sent His Son to live among us and to die for us. He sent His Son to conquer death. To bring healing and forgiveness. To bring deliverance and grace.
And even though my voice can’t sing right now, I pray my ears will hear His song surrounding me.